彼得森（Peterson）从庞大的档案中吸取经验，并以不知名的人物与约翰·温思罗普（John Winthrop），棉花马瑟（Cotton Mather）和约翰·亚当斯（John Adams）等著名人物为背景，探索波士顿在16世纪的乌托邦理想中的起源，其在新英格兰腹地的建立和扩展，以及与西印度群岛和南欧有联系的独特政治经济的增长。到1700年代，波士顿已全面发展，在英国帝国内外都拥有广泛的大西洋贸易通道和文化纽带。在灾难性的革命战争之后，“波士顿人”旨在与美国同盟谈判关系，但在下一世纪，新美国打破了波士顿的区域统治。批准《宪法》的决定性决定削弱了它的权力，因为南方种植园主和奴隶主主导着国家政治，并且侵蚀了这个城市国家对所有人的共同利益的愿景。
A groundbreaking history of early America that shows how Boston built and sustained an independent city-state in New England before being folded into the United States
In the vaunted annals of America’s founding, Boston has long been held up as an exemplary “city upon a hill” and the “cradle of liberty” for an independent United States. Wresting this iconic urban center from these misleading, tired clich s, The City-State of Boston highlights Boston’s overlooked past as an autonomous city-state, and in doing so, offers a pathbreaking and brilliant new history of early America. Following Boston’s development over three centuries, Mark Peterson discusses how this self-governing Atlantic trading center began as a refuge from Britain’s Stuart monarchs and how–through its bargain with slavery and ratification of the Constitution–it would tragically lose integrity and autonomy as it became incorporated into the greater United States.
Drawing from vast archives, and featuring unfamiliar figures alongside well-known ones, such as John Winthrop, Cotton Mather, and John Adams, Peterson explores Boston’s origins in sixteenth-century utopian ideals, its founding and expansion into the hinterland of New England, and the growth of its distinctive political economy, with ties to the West Indies and southern Europe. By the 1700s, Boston was at full strength, with wide Atlantic trading circuits and cultural ties, both within and beyond Britain’s empire. After the cataclysmic Revolutionary War, “Bostoners” aimed to negotiate a relationship with the American confederation, but through the next century, the new United States unraveled Boston’s regional reign. The fateful decision to ratify the Constitution undercut its power, as Southern planters and slave owners dominated national politics and corroded the city-state’s vision of a common good for all.
Peeling away the layers of myth surrounding a revered city, The City-State of Boston offers a startlingly fresh understanding of America’s history.